As I’m sure all of you well know, today is the first day of Hanukkah, the only Jewish holiday most of you can name with the possible exception of Yom Kippur. In honour of the occasion I shall review the forty-five minutes I saw of Adam Sandler’s animated Hanukkah movie, Eight Crazy Nights. Actually come to think of it, this is about the worst possible thing I could do in honour of the occasion short of extinguishing a menorah with my own piss, but I’m gonna do it anyway.
So I’m just going to get this out of the way right off the bat: Eight Crazy Nights sucks. It’s an awful movie that nobody should watch. It’s not funny, there are no interesting characters, the voice-acting is aggravating, the songs are forgettable, and pretty much every aspect of it is annoying. I missed the beginning and couldn’t stand to watch it until the end, but I saw enough of it to know that it’s one of the worst holiday specials in existence. Although every element of this movie fails in its own particular way there are three specific things that I find particularly aggravating and worthy of mention: the proliferation of poop jokes, the old midget man, and the fact that it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Hanukkah.
At one point in time I imagine Adam Sandler wrote clever jokes, but those days must be long gone now because 90% of the jokes in this movie relate to fecal matter in one way or another. A guy eating a jock strap, the Old Midget Man being pushed down a hill in an outhouse, reindeers smiling with a mouth full of shit; it’s all played for laughs and I am sure it might be hilarious when you’re a nine year old boy and the mere mention of the word “poo” is a cause for raucous laughter, but for anybody else on the planet it is deeply saddening. I understand that gross-out humour has niche market, but I think everybody has a limit (proportional to brain-size) and this movie goes way beyond that for all except the most retarded of people (nine year old boys who probably live in trailer parks).
The Old Midget Man
So all of the characters in this movie suck in their own way that’s not even special that’s how hard they suck, but one stands above (or below) the rest as the most obnoxious: the Old Midget Man who I am sure has a name, but I do not have the inclination to look it up because seriously, fuck this guy. I’m pretty sure he’s intended to be the most comical character in the movie, but he comes off as the one I want to punch the hardest. I’m pretty sure he’s modeled after Ewoks because like them he’s short, hairy, and has a grating voice. Why Adam Sandler gave him that voice I’ll never know, but I can only assume its because he hates love and compassion. There is no character I have ever wanted to die harder in any movie since Mary Corleone in The Godfather Part III, but in this case my wish is never granted. Instead, as one giant fuck you from Sandler, he almost dies on numerous occasions from seizures, exposure, or violence, but always manages to survive so he can come back and annoy the viewer with a vengeance. Just when you think it can’t possibly get any worse, they introduce you to his sister, also voiced by Sandler, who is essentially his female counterpart just so they can double the irritation. I don’t know why this movie hates happiness so much. It’s like the anti-comedy.
Lack of Hanukkah
Despite the fact that this film purports to be about Hanukkah, I could not spot a single reference to Judaism, nevermind the December holiday, at any point in the forty-five minutes I watched. I’m sure its there by the end, but the fact that they completely disregard it for a solid half of the movie seems a bit odd. Even when they visit the Old Midget Man’s house, who I’m pretty sure is supposed to be Jewish, the only visible holiday decoration is a Christmas tree. This leads into what I find to be the most depressing aspect of this movie. While all the Christian boys and girls get a whole slew of great Christmas movies and specials to choose from (The Grinch, Charlie Brown, A Christmas Story, etc.) all the Jewish kids get for Hanukkah is Eight Crazy Nights and it hardly has anything to do with it at all (I think Rugrats might have a Hanukkah episode to be fair). If you’re a Jewish parent and you want your kid to watch a holiday cartoon to compete with Rudolph or Frosty and teach them about their heritage, you pretty much have no choice but to pop this movie in, and god that’s tragic.
Bonus points to whoever describes the best death scene for the Old Midget Man.